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Standard Cyclopedia of Horticulture

Ponthieva (named in honor of M. de Ponthieu). Orchidaceae. Terrestrial, glabrous or pilose herbs which are not in common cultivation, though sometimes grown in gardens.

Roots fascicled in a short rhizome: lvs. subradical, ovate or lanceolate, membranaceous, more or less petioled: infl. a lax raceme borne on a simple elongated scape; the pedicels often glandular-pubescent: fls. medium-sized; sepals free, spreading; petals adnate to the column, narrower than tne sepals; labellum adnate to the base of the column by a claw, ascending, with the lateral lobes winged; column short or rather long, terete, apex broadened: caps, oblong, erect, beakless. —About 30 species, Trop. and Subtrop. Amer.

The above text is from the Standard Cyclopedia of Horticulture. It may be out of date, but still contains valuable and interesting information which can be incorporated into the remainder of the article. Click on "Collapse" in the header to hide this text.

Shadow Witch
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Hairy Shadow With (Ponthieva racemosa)
Hairy Shadow With (Ponthieva racemosa)
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Class: Liliopsida
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Order: Asparagales
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Family: Orchidaceae
Subfamily: Orchidoideae
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Tribe: Cranichideae
Subtribe: Cranichidinae
Genus: Ponthieva
R.Br. in W.T.Aiton (1813)
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Neottia glandulosa (now synonym of Ponthieva racemosa (Walter) C.Mohr )
Sims, Bot. Mag. 22: t. 842 (1805).
See text

Ponthieva (commonly called Shadow Witch) is a genus form the orchid family (Orchidaceae). They are named after Henri de Ponthieu, a French merchant who sent West Indian plant collections to Sir Joseph Banks in 1778.

This genus occurs from the southern states of the USA to Mexico, the Caribbean and tropical America. They are mainly terrestrial plants with sympodial growth, but some are epiphytes.

Their fibrous root show long and soft hairs. Some of the branches are thickened. The simple stem grows from rhizomes and carries thin, basal leaves with a slight to a somewhat longer stalk. The few to many, erect flowers grow on bracteate peduncles in a terminal raceme. Their dorsal sepal is slightly joined to the petals at the apex. The petals are free or sometimes fused to lower flanks of the column. The lateral sepals are distinct or joined.

The clawed lip is fused to the base of the short column. This is semiterete, i.e in the form of a cylinder, rounded on one side and flat on the other. It is slightly winged towards the pointed apex.

There are four, yellow, club-shaped pollinia that are joined in pairs.


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